November 2nd, 2015 SIMCOE. Starting today, the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit will be offering prenatal classes online. For the first time, expectant parents will have another option if they cannot attend in-person prenatal classes due to things like scheduling conflicts, shift work or transportation issues.
The online prenatal classes will be piloted for a year in order to evaluate community response and participation. Based on feedback, the information may be adjusted to address the information needs of expectant parents in the region. The HNHU has partnered with Brant County Public Health for the pilot project.
For the trial period, the online prenatal classes will be offered free of charge. Those interested can register at hnhu.org. Each registrant will be mailed an access code to view the online classes as well as a package containing information about local resources.
While all of the same technical information will be provided, a drawback of online classes is that the connection and group discussion often experienced with in-person classes won’t be reproduced. However participants will be able to access the prenatal education in their own time.
“We decided to start offering online prenatal classes because we saw that more and more, young adults are turning to the internet first to get information,” said Alayna Valters, a public health nurse with Maternal and Child Health at the HNHU. “This just seemed like a natural progression, to offer e-learning as a choice”.
Expectant parents participating in the group in-person classes are welcome to take the free online version at the same time. This provides a back-up option for acquiring the information in the event that they have to miss one or more of the in-person classes. Also, the online classes can be used as a refresher on the information provided in class.
For more information, please visit hnhu.org/prenatalclasses or call Joanne Alessi, maternal/child public health nurse at (905)318-5367 ext. 3330.